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Fundraising Strategy: The Gift Range Chart [With Templates!]

The success of your fundraising campaign relies on whether or not your nonprofit has put in the time to develop a comprehensive, data-driven fundraising strategy. With the right fundraising plan in place, the more likely you’ll be able to extend the right asks to reach likely donors and achieve your fundraising goals. The secret to an excellent fundraising strategy? Consider making the most of a gift range chart. Commonly used during the feasibility study phase of capital campaigns, gift range charts are useful tools for fundraising campaigns of any size. With this simple tool, you’ll learn exactly what it will take to successfully reach your fundraising goals.  Even better? Your gift range chart can show your nonprofit where you need to improve in your fundraising strategy, whether or not your fundraising goal is too ambitious, and where to focus your fundraising strategy. Before your campaign begins, you’ll be able determine the optimal size of your asks, the breakdown of your ideal prospects, and which donors you should be engaging. In this post, we’ll help you get the most out of your gift range chart by discussing:
  1. Why you should use a gift range chart.
  2. How to structure your gift range chart.
  3. DonorSearch’s gift range chart template.
Are you ready to learn how to use gift range charts to bring your nonprofit’s fundraising strategy to the next level? Let’s get started!

1. Why you should use a gift range chart.

Without question, gift range charts should be a part of your fundraising strategy arsenal (if they aren’t already). Despite their deceptively simple design, gift range charts can tell you a lot about your fundraising strategy, especially if your nonprofit is looking to embark on a capital campaign. (Looking to sharpen your fundraising strategy? Consider working with a fundraising consulting firm to revamp the way your nonprofit raises money for your cause.) Specifically, gift range charts can let your nonprofit know: =&0=& =&1=&

By chris

5 Big Benefits of Fundraising with Wealth Screening

This post was written by Jeri Alcock CFRE, West Coast Sales Manager at DonorSearch. If you could accurately predict the future you’d be a very successful person. You’d spend your days trading stocks at the exact right moment and catching kittens just as they fall from trees. You could be a crime-preventing, disaster-avoiding, money maker. Such seemingly far-fetched dreams. We might not have found a way to predict the world’s future, but we have uncovered a way for fundraisers to predict donors’ futures — prospect research. Prospect research is talked about a lot on this blog, which is quite reasonable given that it is DonorSearch’s specialty. When performing a prospect screening, you’re taking a holistic approach to donor analysis. You want the big picture of a prospect’s giving future, so you look at a combination of worthwhile factors. Take a dash of past giving, a teaspoon of nonprofit involvement, a pinch of real estate ownership, some secret ingredients, and mix it all together to whip up a batch of predictive donor profiles. In thinking about the ingredients that go into creating a prospect profile, we can typically see the various data types dividing into either wealth markers or philanthropic indicators. With wealth screening, nonprofits are looking at wealth markers in particular. Wealth screening is about giving capacity rather than willingness to give. A screening of this sort will answer one key question: How much can this prospect afford to give? Now, you’ll need to look at philanthropic indicators to see if that prospect will actually make the moves to donate, but wealth screening tells nonprofits what their prospects are capable of

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By chris

5 Ways to Determine if a Prospect Has Significant Real Estate Holdings

This post was written by Bill Tedesco, CEO of DonorSearch Real estate holdings are the wealth marker extraordinaire. They are the cream of the crop. Why? Significant real estate ownership can act as more than a wealth marker. It has philanthropic predictive capabilities as well. Those who own $2+ million in real estate are 17 times as likely to give as an average prospect is. With trends like that, it is easy to see why real estate ownership can be so significant in analyzing a donor’s giving capacity. In order to get to the point where you utilize real estate ownership as a tool to better understand giving capacity, you have to first better understand the research that goes into uncovering real estate ownership.

Below, you’ll find five ways your nonprofit can investigate real estate ownership and discover if any of your prospects or donors has significant holdings.

The first three methods listed refer specifically to the process of hunting down details on properties. In particular, you’ll need to know a property’s:
  • Market value
  • Taxable value
Once you have that information, consider points four and five. The final two suggestions take the word “significant” into account. They should help your team decide how to classify their findings after extensive research.

1. Let a screening tool help.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t open this discussion by advising you to consider letting a prospect screening do the heavy lifting. By analyzing data from a charitable giving database among other resources, you can learn more about your donor’s:
  • Real estate holdings
  • What those holdings mean
  • How they apply to various other predictive factors for the donor you’re investigating.
For more information, read through this discussion of our charitable giving database.

2. Use a real estate website.

If you have an internet connection and your prospect’s address, there are various free search tools you can use to discover details on your donor’s property(ies). Zillow We recommended Zillow as one of our prospect research tools here and with good reason. With Zillow, you can search a donor’s address and retrieve the website’s Zestimate. The Zestimate is not a hard and fast appraisal, but it will give you a good ballpark. You can also see the most recent sale price. The investigative value of that price will vary depending on how recently the prospect purchased the home. Realtor.com Similar to Zillow, Realtor.com will give an estimate and the sale history. Switch the search option to property records and type the address into the empty field. Once you have your desired location pulled up, move from the overview tab to the property history tab. There, you’ll find the purchase price and the date of purchase. Trulia Trulia has comparable features to Realtor.com and Zillow. For Trulia searches, you’ll be taking advantage of the recently sold option. At the end of the day, pick the resource you use based on the user-experience that is most appealing. 

3. Search a county tax assessor’s site.

Visit pulawski.net to locate the tax assessor’s website for the county of the address you’re interested in. When you arrive at the specific county’s website, your search will be dictated by the capacity of the county’s searchable database. Sometimes you’ll need the owner’s name and address, while other times the name or the address will be sufficient on its own.

4. Consider geography in your analysis.

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By chris

[Guest Post] Isn’t it all a bit distasteful?

This blog focuses on the world of prospect research and various related fundraising topics. To diversify our subject matter, we like to feature the work of our friends and colleagues in the community. Join me in welcoming Susie Hills of Graham-Pelton and please enjoy her post on wealth screening. I recently asked someone who was leading a charity whether they had wealth screened their database. They responded with discomfort and said, “Isn’t it rather distasteful to find out how rich someone is?” Their view was that we should treat everyone in the same way, and those who are richer will automatically give more. I couldn’t have disagreed more strongly. We spend years recruiting supporters, volunteers, and donors. We keep their records on our databases, and we use that data in more or less sophisticated ways depending on the resources and skills we have in our organisations. Whatever form our data is in, it represents a bank of time, energy, investment, and commitment from our side and from those whose names we keep. It may be a ‘mass’ of data but each record represents a personal relationship with our cause. It still surprises me that a charity I worked for and gave to for years and persuaded my friends and family to support never realised the depth of my loyalty to them and the complexity of my relationship with them. When I finally stopped giving to them (due to the two-dimensional transactional nature of their communications) they never really contacted me in a personal way to explore why – I was not an individual supporter rather a name on a list, part of normal donor attrition. I would have been a lifelong donor and a legacy pledger had they simply kept great records on my relationship with them and tailored their approaches to me. We owe it to ourselves, our donors, our volunteers and our beneficiaries to use our data in really smart ways? To be highly efficient, effective, personal and responsive in our fundraising? This is what is expected of us. The people whose names inhabit our databases – people like us – are used to being communicated with in very sophisticated, tailored ways. When we go online, the ad that appears is for a retailer we bought from last week. When we visit a website, the content is tailored to the clicks we made yesterday. Our supermarket sends us vouchers for things we regularly buy or might want to buy based on what they know about us.  We can even tailor our news feed to give us the news we want and are interested in. Our world is becoming increasingly a highly bespoke world and this makes us increasingly intolerant of ‘cold calls’ and ‘blanket mailings’. In fact when it comes to charities approaching us in these ways, some of us are becoming infuriated and some parts of the media are stoking this fury. I am sure all fundraisers would agree that we should use our data to tailor our approaches so that they most closely match the interests and wishes of our supporters. Surely, we should similarly design asks that also match their ability to give. When we wealth screen our databases, we are simply accessing publicly held information on an individual’s wealth, roles, and interests. Isn’t it only responsible and thoughtful to know if one of our supporters has given a big donation to a similar cause?  Or to be aware they are a trustee of a grant making trust you are applying to? Wouldn’t a very wealthy supporter prefer that you approached them personally for a meaningful and impactful major gift, rather than send them a letter asking for £50 or £100 a few times a year? If we want to build long-term, meaningful relationships with our supporters then knowledge of their philanthropic interests and ability to give is vital.

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By chris

What is Wealth Screening?

This post was written by Ryan Woroniecki, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at DonorSearch.

When those in fundraising think of wealth screening they think of prospect research and vice versa. The two methods of learning about giving candidates are often mistaken for interchangeable terms. Well, they’re not.

Prospect research is an umbrella term that encompasses the entire field of investigating potential donors to better understand their giving tendencies. Wealth screening is under that umbrella and helps to predict those often mysterious and elusive donor giving tendencies

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